Sheffield Academy plans push forward

Tom Beaumont - Chapeltown Academy
Tom Beaumont - Chapeltown Academy

Proposals for a new Chapeltown Academy came a step closer this week as plans were formally submitted to the Department for Education.

The application, for a 16-19 school serving the north of Sheffield, has been officially lodged by a group of teachers and educationalists.

They expect to hear in the spring whether the application has been approved by Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove.

If given the go-ahead, the new sixth form academy, for 300 students, will open in September 2014.

Tom Beaumont, proposer with specific responsibility for finance, said: “We are delighted to be making this application. We have been working with the local community for the last eight months and have been overwhelmed with the level of local support.”

Since plans were first announced last spring, more than 300 families have come forward to pledge their support. The steering group is also one of 32 backed by the national New Schools Network, set up to promote free schools.

The proposed school aims to provide a “rigorous academic education” and rich extra-curricular programme, designed to help students access leading universities.

They will be able to choose from a portfolio of 14 A-level subjects, covering English, maths, science, languages and humanities. Close mentoring will be a key part of the approach.

News of the plan has been welcomed by families concerned about a lack of school sixth form opportunities in the north of Sheffield.

One Grenoside parent said: “At the moment our children have to travel to schools across the city and that’s only if they have been fortunate enough to be allocated a place or have parents who can afford to pay for private schools.”

Parents and students interested in learning more about the planned academy are invited to an event, entitled Life at Chapeltown Academy, at The Source, Meadowhall, on Saturday, March 2.

This should provide an insight to the opportunities available to students who attend Chapeltown Academy.

Parents will have a chance to speak to representatives of leading universities, including Cambridge, while pupils will be given a taste of subjects and activities on offer. Local business supporters will also be on hand, to discuss their role.

Register for the event at www.chapeltownacademy.com from January 15.